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What to Consider When Searching for Student Housing

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Are you looking for student housing for the upcoming academic year?

Moving out of home and living alone is an important milestone in anyone's life and can often be an intimidating decision for most people. Most students who go through this process will tell you that choosing suitable student housing can be both one of the most exciting and one of the most stressful aspects of the university experience. 

This is because the student housing you live in will not only be where you will be calling home for the next few years, but it will also be a place that will teach you a variety of valuable life skills such as budgeting, cooking, and, most importantly, how to manage adult life.

Making such a big decision requires planning and preparation. That’s why here at NorthPoint, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most important things you need to consider when searching for student housing. 

Budget

Before looking at student residences, you need to consider your budget. As a student, you might not have much money to spend on accommodation, so you’ll need to create a realistic budget and estimate how much you can spend on rent each month. 

If you’re fortunate enough to have some kind of financial support from family or employment and are willing to spend more money on student housing, make sure it is worthwhile and includes everything you will need.

In addition to rent and utilities, students living off-campus should account for the costs of furniture, appliances, and other personal pleasures each month. Also, when you apply to rent a unit, you may also have to pay extra fees, such as a background check. Other unanticipated costs can sometimes be included in leasing agreements, so make sure you read your lease agreement before signing.

Remember that while college dorm rooms are usually the cheapest, you will have to deal with a lack of privacy. Living off-campus in an apartment might be a better option if you value privacy. 

Number of Roommates

Another important factor to consider when searching for student housing is how many people you’re comfortable living with. 

You can generally choose between college dorms, university-managed housing, privately owned halls of residence, a privately rented house, flat with other students, or a privately rented property, which normally sleeps four or five people. 

Before signing the dotted line or even considering viewing student housing, consider who your housemates will be. Since almost everyone has different living habits, it's worth learning more about your potential student housemates' expectations for next year. Will there be a cleaning schedule? How will you cohabitate? 

If you intend to live in a shared apartment with other people, make sure you are familiar with their quirks and habits before deciding to move in. If you and your friends are looking for a place to stay together, look for a place with enough space to give everyone privacy. You can follow our tips for getting along with your roommates to help you figure out how to live together and get along during your college year.

Safety

If you're looking for off-campus housing, think about where you'll be living and observe the surrounding neighborhood to determine if it's safe. Talk to your classmates who live in that area to get a sense of the atmosphere. If it sounds good, go check it out with your potential roommates. Take a walk through the streets to get a sense of the neighborhood where the student housing is located.

You should consider the area you've chosen as well as the security of the building. Some student accommodations are more secure than others in terms of safety. Remember that many locations will have common rooms downstairs that are only accessible to those who live there. It's something you should consider when looking for a place to live.

The property's proximity to your preferred university is another critical deciding factor. Low-cost student housing that requires a long commute to school may cause additional stress and costly expenses. If possible, choose a student housing complex close to your college or university. Aside from being cheaper and more convenient, living close to your university may also help you study because it's easy to get to. This is also important if you have free time between classes.

Don’t let the price of student housing property sway your decision until you’ve considered all these factors to ensure that your college experience is pleasant.

Furnishing and Appliances

Another thing to consider when searching for student housing is furnishings and appliances. You’ll need to research if your prospective student housing will be furnished. 

When education is your primary goal in college, you'd also like to be comfortable and convenient while studying. This is why you should evaluate off-campus housing to see if it has all the features that will enhance your experience.

A student's daily life will be easier with comfortable furniture and functional appliances. Because different types of lodging provide various benefits, evaluating preferred facilities is entirely subjective. 

Depending on the type of accommodations you choose, you may have restrictions on the types and sizes of appliances. For example, you may be limited to a microwave or a small personal refrigerator in most dorm rooms. On the other hand, apartment-style accommodations typically allow you to bring in all of your own appliances. Also, ensure you coordinate with roommates on what to bring; sometimes, you can share certain appliances. 

If you're sharing a place that already has appliances, find out which ones you're allowed to use. And if you have complete access to the available appliances, ensure they're all in good working order.

Storage

Storage is another important factor to consider when choosing where to live during your college year. Does the place you're considering have storage facilities? If so, are they big enough to meet your needs? These are both important questions to ask before deciding whether the place will be right for you. 

Most college students will need enough storage for textbooks, clothes, personal items, etc. If you can find a place that offers extra storage capacity, it will make things much easier.

Wi-fi

When looking for student housing, make sure the place has a reliable internet connection that’s strong enough to let you take online classes. This can be done by researching the student housing possibilities you've narrowed down or by asking previous residents or tenants about internet speed.

Most college students will need a fast and stable internet connection for research or writing articles online. Also, for students to stay in touch with their families back home, they’ll need a reliable connection to make video calls and communicate online.

During the pandemic, many universities switched to online classes, making more people want safe and reliable internet.

Amenities

When living in student housing, amenities are definitely something you should consider when making your selection. Amenities can enhance your residency experience, safety, and convenience.

Here are some examples of amenities you should consider when looking for a place to live:

  • Entertainment options: For entertainment, consider a smart TV, which you can use to decompress and relax after a long day of studying. The more entertainment options you have, the less monotonous your stay will be.
  • Laundry facilities: These include a washer and dryer. Eliminating the need to travel further to off-site laundromats can save time and money.
  • Heating and cooling systems: Consider a unit with air conditioning to keep you cool, especially in the summer. If you’re living in colder climates such as Idaho, make sure a heating system is installed to keep you toasty in the winter.
  • Parking: Many students drive and require a safe and secure parking spot for their vehicles. If your student accommodation includes a parking spot, this can provide convenient and regular parking.
  • Gym & fitness studios: Having access to a gym or fitness studio, like a yoga studio in your housing complex, is another practical advantage. It can be a motivator to stay fit and healthy while you study. 
  • Shared community spaces: If rooms are used for sleeping and general privacy, then your property requires an area where people can express themselves. A shared community room can generate a strong sense of belonging. A residence that feels like home can make your stay feel comfortable and homey.

Lease Flexibility

The last factor on our list is lease flexibility. Although no one truly enjoys reading the small print in contracts, keep in mind that your contract and the terms are not something you should just gloss over. Make sure you understand how long the contract is, how much the deposits are, and the contractual grace periods if you decide to leave before the end of your lease.

Ever since the pandemic, more and more students are looking for flexible lease terms, like being able to sublet the space or sign leases at a later date, as well as clear information about how to return the rental and any fees that come with it.

It's natural to feel pressed to sign the lease as soon as possible after (finally) finding a place. However, it is critical that you take the time to understand all of the terms and conditions that you are agreeing to.

Your NorthPoint Experience

Moving away from home to live in a new apartment can be both exciting and challenging, and NorthPoint wants you to feel at ease in your new surroundings, especially if this is your first time living on your own! We invite you to visit the best BYU-I-approved housing in Rexburg. 

Now, student housing developments are less of an exception and more of the norm regarding luxury. That’s why we’ve designed each apartment with incredible features such as laundry facilities, multiple sinks and bathrooms, garbage pick-up service, and extra storage. 

Outside our apartment buildings, you'll find music rooms, exercise facilities, gaming rooms, theater rooms, study areas, and more! Plus, there are always fun events happening that you can take part in. We try to ensure that every student feels at home and enjoys the full college experience.

Contact us or call us today, and we will get back to you as soon as possible so you can sign up for an apartment while they are still available. Spaces fill up quickly!

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